×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney Strikes Chinese-Language Development Pact With Wudi Pictures

Taiwan’s Wudi Pictures has struck a multi-picture development deal with Walt Disney in China, with a view to hatching locally targeted, Chinese-language movies.

The co-development agreement between The Walt Disney Studios China and Wudi runs for an initial 12 months. It is focused on live-action theatrical titles suitable for joint development and eventual production under China’s co-production rules. The deal is also expected to focus on films that provide leading roles for veteran actor Chen Bolin.

Chen stars in Disney’s upcoming “Miss Taken,” which recently wrapped production and will be released later this year. His co-star in the film is Jelly Lin, the actress who broke out in the lead role of Stephen Chow’s “The Mermaid” last year. The film is a co-production between SMG Pictures, The Walt Disney Studios China and Shanghai Artrendwave Productions.

Wudi was established last year by Maxx Tsai, a senior film producer with years of experience in the film business. Wudi is also working with mainland China’s Hunan Satellite TV on a major Internet TV drama. That is expected to air next year. Other titles with Disney are to be announced later.

Disney has long been present in China, with a large presence in consumer goods. Last year it opened the Shanghai Disney Resort, a complex including the Shanghai Disneyland theme park, hotels and retail facilities. Shanghai Disneyland was the venue last week for the world premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” where Lin walked the red carpet.

The studio has long sought a role in local Chinese production, but has trod carefully and slowly. Its initial steps, including satisfactory box-office performer “The Magic Gourd,” were made with Hong Kong partners. “Disney High School Musical: China” made with Huayi Brothers and Shanghai Television Media, flopped.

More recently the company has partnered with and expanded its relationship with Shanghai Media Group. It established a multi-year studio movie script and talent development fund, and in 2013 another SMG deal launched kids’ entertainment cooperation with SMG subsidiary BesTV.

In 2014 Disney further expanded the SMG deal to include television content development, movie co-production, content distribution and cooperation on marketing. The recently released “Born in China,” a Disneynature-branded documentary directed by Lu Chuan, was one of the highest-profile products of that relationship.

More Film

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • 'St. Bernard Syndicate' Review: A Quietly

    Film Review: 'St. Bernard Syndicate'

    John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan may have received major award nominations this season for their fine work in “Stan & Ollie,” but there’s arguably a superior Laurel & Hardy tribute act to be found in the droll Danish comedy “St. Bernard Syndicate.” As a pair of bumbling losers who turn an already dubious business [...]

  • With PGA win, 'Green Book' is

    Oscars: With PGA Victory, 'Green Book' Becomes Best Picture Frontrunner

    Save for a pair of recent back-to-back discrepancies in “The Big Short” and “La La Land,” the Producers Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Theatrical Motion Pictures has been a fairly reliable barometer for the annual Oscar season outcome. At least, ever since both the PGA and film Academy expanded their top categories, sharing the [...]

  • Peter Farrelly30th Annual Producers Guild Awards,

    PGA Awards: 'Green Book' Wins Top Feature Film Award

    “Green Book” has won the Producers Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award as the top feature film of 2018. The 1960s drama-comedy topped “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite,”  “A Quiet Place,” “Roma,” “A Star Is Born” and “Vice. “When you make ‘Dumb and Dumber’ you never expect to get an award,” [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Andy Gruenberg, Veteran Film Executive, Dies at 68

    Veteran film executive Andy Gruenberg, who most recently oversaw theatrical distribution at Netflix, died suddenly on Friday. He was 68. Gruenberg worked on classic films like “Ghostbusters,” “Karate Kid” and “Silverado” while at Columbia Pictures in the 80s and 90s. He then moved to MGM where he served as exec VP of distribution. There he [...]

  • Fyre Festival Caterer Receives Thousands in

    Unpaid Fyre Festival Caterer Raises Thousands in Donations on GoFundMe

    As two Fyre Festival documentaries hit the airwaves, a couple who say their credit was ruined due to the Fyre Festival’s lack of payment for their services have raised $54,381 at time of publication on GoFundMe. Elvis and Maryann Rolle wrote on their page that they catered “no less than 1000 meals per day” in [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content